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Maryam Gohar

I am Maryam Gohar (a pseudonym I have made up of my real name “Maryam” and my Grandma’s “Gohar” (means gem) who was the very first unorthodox feminist I knew). I am a female artist currently residing in Iran. For many years I have been working as a children’s book illustrator while having this more feminine and sensual part of my artistic-self hidden from the world. Being a woman artist in Iran and the nature of my works combined, made it harder to work in larger scales and I started with sketchbook pieces first. This enabled me to work on subjects near to my heart with less fear of exposure. There are too many taboos to put aside, too many rules to break and too many sacrifices to make working here; apart from extremists in the highest governmental seats, there are the majority of men and women who have been brought up with these brass-bound beliefs. It breaks my heart to see my mom and dad, though aware of my secret transition, aren’t curious to know more about it; fearing to find out their innocent little girl no longer exists.

Sketchbook drawings